Hanshin Tigers President to Quit over Virus Outbreak in Team


Nishinomiya, Hyogo Pref., Oct. 9 (Jiji Press)--Kenji Ageshio, president of the operator of the Hanshin Tigers, said Friday that he will resign after the end of this season to take responsibility for a string of novel coronavirus infections among players and staff members of the Japanese professional baseball team.

"Although our team is still in the middle of the season, I hope you understand that the resignation is the way I take responsibility" for the coronavirus outbreak in the team, Ageshio told a press conference at the club's office in the city of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan. "I am very sorry," he added.

Takaoki Fujiwara, owner of the Tigers, one of the six teams in the Central League of the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization, or NPB, accepted Ageshio's resignation. The team said Ageshio will leave the post of president on Dec. 1. His successor has yet to be decided.

In March, three Tigers players, including star pitcher Shintaro Fujinami, tested positive for the virus.

Last month, five players, including infielder Kento Itohara, the team's captain, and four staff members of the first team, were found to be infected with the virus. The team has been under scrutiny as some of the nine were among eight Tigers members, including a first team staff worker, who dined together at a restaurant in the central Japan city of Nagoya on Sept. 19 in violation of the team's rule of limiting the number of members dining out in group to four.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press